Thursday, November 14, 2013

Haiyan Horror

Looking at the photos of the aftermath of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan has me heartsick. Relief efforts are stymied by less-than-optimal logistics and damaged infrastructure- I live in one of the wealthiest sections of the wealthiest nation on earth, and I experienced firsthand the challenges that a terrific storm can pose. I shudder to think of the conditions in Tacloban.

The arrival of the U.S. Navy, with its unequaled ability to move matériel, will be a game-changer. Simply having 21 helicopters that can transport emergency supplies to remote areas will improve the prospects for a lot of Tacloban residents. This has to be the most welcome arrival of the U.S. military since MacArthur swore to return to Leyte, the very region ravaged by Haiyan.

Hopefully, the aid that the U.S. is sending to the Philippines won't come with too many strings attached... the Filipino government refused a request for a greater U.S. military presence in the country due to fears of undermined sovereignty. This could very well change if the U.S. government decides to play hardball.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I share your hope, BBBB.

"War is a racket" - Major General Smedley Butler, USMC

mikey said...

And of course it's 'just another thousand year storm' while we continue to burn coal and increase fracking, releasing methane (ten times more effective greenhouse gas than plain old CO2) into the atmosphere. And the ice sheet retreats, reducing the earth's albedo. And the permafrost melts, releasing carbon that had been sequestered for millennia. And oceans warm, producing weather the planet hasn't seen since long before the rise of homo sapiens.

And because of the human urge to short-term greed and fear of scarcity, nobody's really doing anything. There are increased wind and solar programs around the world, but that's more because we're sitting at peak oil and cheap fossil fuels aren't going to return.

It's kind of like smoking cigarettes. We understand at an academic level that we're killing ourselves, but one day looks pretty much like another, except for these increasingly common weather catastrophes that are front page news for a week and then are quickly forgotten...